A “corporate identity” is not only limited to logos, letterheads, and business cards.
A “corporate identity” is not only limited to logos, letterheads, and business cards. In fact, a corporate identity design has many more layers in terms of the visual identity; that include colors, slogans, fonts, posts, website design, social media platforms design, and others.
In other words, corporate identity is more than just design; it’s who you are as a company. So it includes those corporate design elements on the one hand but also your culture, your values and your internal and external communications. It is also important to note the difference between a corporate identity and a brand identity. A company has one corporate identity, yet hundreds of brands underneath that corporate umbrella, each having an individual brand identity. Proactively building the entity's identity will ensure consistency, cohesion, and distinction from competitors, and help engage effectively with customers, employees, and investors. As we mentioned earlier, the corporate identity is made up of two basic components, which are Design on the one hand, and Culture and Personality on the other.
This includes logo design, website and social media, service delivery, packaging and merchandise, and internal and external corporate communications. However, design also extends to decorations in work sites, uniforms, vehicles, and everything that is material, visible, and tangible.
Second: Culture and Personality This includes the vision and goal that drive the entities and employees to work with the entity and also includes values, culture, and behavior, which sculpts the corporate identity in general. Building a sound corporate identity depends on the following steps:
1. Determine the starting point: It is the reason for establishing that entity, by thinking about the motives on which it relied to start this work, defining the vision and purpose of the entity, and setting an action plan and how to implement and develop it.
2. Find out where you are: before starting to draw plans for the future, so that statistics are carried out and feedback is obtained on the quality of the current product or service, think of the following: What is the current customer satisfaction rate? And what about the staff? These studies help in obtaining information that positively help in improving the level of effectiveness and performance of the entity, which helps in consolidating the institutional identity, and for new entities and businesses. This can be done by experimenting with the product and service and obtaining impressions.
3. Expand the perspective of the market: by observing the current market and studying the current situation of competitors in terms of their institutional identities, what are their strengths and weaknesses? What is it that they are distinguished in showing? What are the weaknesses in their identities? Thus, a list can be created that defines the points that must be worked on or avoided in the journey of building a strong corporate identity.
4. Create a vision for the future: Building a corporate identity takes a great deal of time and effort; however, following the steps in a logical sequence facilitates the completion of this process. As the market is always in a volatile state, a future vision must be created for the entity that matches the changes that may occur later and keeps pace with developments. Hence, it is possible to work on the following basis:
a. Where do you want to be with your company in five years from now?
b. What will your internal structure and team look like?
c. What new products and services will you be launching?
Looking ahead like this will help to ensure that the identity you’re developing now will not only be relevant in years to come but will even help you get there.
5. Determine the target market: The basic rule that must be followed in the development of the corporate identity is that it must match the identity of existing and potential customers. They always prefer to deal with parties that reflect their aspirations. Therefore, studying the market and potential customers and their needs is important and essential in developing a strong corporate identity.
The identity is thus the result of intertwined social, economic, and technical factors. Although the quality of products and services are key factors in the outcome of the process, customers judge the entity by image and impression.
Finally, after doing all of the above, it is possible to develop the corporate identity in all its aspects. And always remember that identity is an equal mixture of design, culture, and personality. To get started with this development process, you need to follow these steps:
First: developing a brand strategy and a special corporate identity, and this includes the important elements of the entity: its core values, its personality, and its position.
Second: Developing the brand and corporate identity, and this goes into the details of the brand design including typography, color palette and shape as well as how it appears in the logo, website, business cards, etc.
Third: Create a branding and corporate identity style guide. This is where we will track all the brand identity elements in one easy-to-use reference document.
At Ideas Window, we have gathered for you a summary of the experience of our designers. We would also like to mention that there are still differences between how the brand is presented to customers and how the corporate identity of the company is presented to investors and other parties, but the process is the same.